Geoff and Justine Ross’ episode of Country Calendar on the Lake Hawea station was the subject of online criticism. Video / TVNZ
Hyundai Country Calendar took to its Facebook page again to respond to the backlash online to the iconic show.
The show’s Facebook page has been around for 12 years, and this is the first time it’s felt the need to post formal page rules.
The final post urges contributors to “keep their comments relevant, avoid personal attacks, and be respectful.”
He encouraged people to share their enjoyment of the stories of hardworking Kiwi farmers, growers and fishers, rather than attacking them.
“If constantly whining, moaning and arguing is your thing, then this page is not for you,” the post read.
“Fortunately, the internet is a big place and there are plenty of other places you can go for that,” he concluded.
It appears the series’ latest episode on Pukerua Farm has ruffled feathers online, generating comments such as “another Greenie grassroots program discrediting farmers”.
This sighting caused intense debate on the page with one person noting that “the comments have been as entertaining as the program”.
However, a large portion of the feedback came using Country Calendar.
NZ Farming, a popular online community Facebook page, got a lot of support to defend the show with the following comment:
“It’s a shame that there are always flirty people to criticize anything that challenges their own perceptions and constructions of what was presented on CC.
“Despite a massive streak of outstanding episodes lately, it’s ridiculous to think any farmer wouldn’t be thrilled with how a wide variety of farmers have represented food and fiber production so well to the public. nonfarm who enjoys the show on a regular basis.
“Keep up the great work Hyundai Country Calendar and to all the farmers who have opened their doors and been groomed to represent us all so well. Thank you.”
The episode that was criticized concerned North Waikato farmer Chris Falconer and his business Happy Cow Milk at Pukerua Farm.
He said comments poured in after the episode aired.
“My phone lit up like a Christmas tree in the night and it’s been working pretty well ever since,” he told Brian Kelly of The Country Sport Breakfast.
Luckily, Falconer hadn’t felt any negativity in person, as the phone calls were “mostly congratulations.”
“A lot of people” were enjoying the show, he said.
“That’s a good answer.”
Just last month, Country Calendar faced a backlash against its episode on Australasia’s first certified zero-carbon farm, Lake Hawea Station.
This farm is run by entrepreneurs Geoff and Justine Ross, founders of the very successful vodka company 42 Below.
Online critics thought the episode was unrealistic, with a lot of vitriol aimed at what they thought were politically correct on-farm practices.
The show was surprised by the reaction to what was its highest-rated episode of the year and once again turned to Facebook.
“We had a huge response to the show about carbon reduction and animal welfare at Lake Hawea Station. And while it’s our highest-rated episode of the year, most of your feedback is negative. !”
Geoff Ross remained philosophical about the backlash, saying “This is how sectors move forward”.